12/12/2008 12:00AM

Keeneland to offer palomino


The Keeneland January sale will have an unusual splash of color in 2009, courtesy of Hip No. 2167.

The filly, who will be a 2-year-old by the time the sale takes place, is a rare Jockey Club-registered palomino Thoroughbred. The designation is unusual but not unheard-of in The Jockey Club registry. This filly, a daughter of Ballado Chieftan and Maid of Gold T B, was one of 31 palomino Thoroughbreds in the foal crop of 2007, but she is believed by Keeneland officials to be the first to sell at one of their auctions.

Splash of Vanilla is the first foal for her dam, who is an unraced 5-year-old by Guaranteed Gold. She sells as part of Kevin Lay's three-horse Triple B Stables consignment.

Lay and Tom Bentley bred Splash of Vanilla with the goal of producing a good Thoroughbred athlete who happens to be palomino, a color they feel also will give the filly additional residual value as a show prospect.

"Many of these palomino Thoroughbreds don't make it to the races because they get sold before that into some kind of show regimen," Lay said.

"We're entering her in the sale because she's a good individual," he added. "If we get the right price, we'll sell. If not, we'll send her to the track."

Lay said one reason palomino racehorses haven't been as prominent as their plainer-coated brethren is that they often are bred more for color than racing potential, a trend he and Bentley hope to change.

The Keeneland January sale runs in Lexington from Jan. 12-17.